Sep 10, 2015 - 4:45pm

Chamber’s Institute for Legal Reform Releases Lawsuit Lay of the Land – and its Impact on Business


Former Managing Editor, Digital Content

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Lisa A. Rickard, president of the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform, presents the survey’s findings in Chicago with Chamber Chairman Michael L. Ducker, left, and Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner. Photo by Ian Wagreich/© U.S. Chamber of Commerce

Location, location, location. We know it is a key element in real estate – but also when it comes to companies’ important business decisions.

About 75 percent of attorneys at U.S. companies say a state’s lawsuit environment is likely to impact their choices, including where to locate or expand, according to a new survey released Thursday by the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform (ILR). That represents an 18 percent increase from eight years ago – and an all-time high in the survey.

Several large states, such as California and Illinois, have some of the worst legal climates in the country for businesses, with rankings of 47 and 48, respectively. Delaware ranked at the top. The results were unveiled at an event in Chicago, with Chamber Chairman Michael L. Ducker and Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner on hand.

“More business leaders than ever have identified a state’s lawsuit climate as a significant factor in determining their growth and expansion plans,” said Lisa A. Rickard, president of ILR, who was also at the Chicago presentation. “States ought to take notice that a good lawsuit climate is vital to their continued job growth.”

The 2015 Lawsuit Climate Survey was conducted by Harris Poll through telephone and online interviews between March 9 and June 24. General counsels or senior attorneys at major companies rank their perceptions of state lawsuit environments – not only laws but courts, judges and juries.

In tandem with the survey, ILR released 101 Ways to Improve State Legal Systems, listing key legal reforms that states can adopt to improve their lawsuit climates.

See the entire 50-state list and read a full copy of the report here. And see 101 Ways to Improve State Legal Systems here.

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About the Author

About the Author

Former Managing Editor, Digital Content

Eric Nelson is the former managing editor of digital content at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.